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Travel and disability - time to give up?

(44 Posts)
Daisymae Mon 24-Jul-23 09:02:04

Just back from a few days away with DH who is very disabled. I do everything, from booking to loading and unloading the car, driving and everything in between. We also take our elderly dog. Going out is difficult, anyone who has tried pushing a wheelchair on gravel will know what I mean. As eating out is difficult we eat in so it feels like I'm doing the same thing, just somewhere different. The place was lovely, but..... My friends say well it's a change of scene but I am pretty exhausted. Hotels are too difficult for him to manage. At some point during our stay I thought that this will be our last holiday. Anyone else coming to that conclusion?

Primrose53 Mon 24-Jul-23 09:22:35

I used to have an elderly neighbour whose husband was badly disabled due to a massive stroke. He was well over 6ft and if he fell she could not move him and it was a real struggle to push him in his wheelchair.

After some exhausting holidays she then decided it was easier for them to take separate holidays and he used to go to a centre near Sandringham where he enjoyed painting and other activities and she used to go away with a friend. I have a feeling it was something to do with Sue Ryder charity but I may be wrong.

BigBertha1 Mon 24-Jul-23 09:32:58

There used to be a charity called Wing Fellowship who did holidays for disabled people and their carers. I think there may be other organisations that do something similar. Might be worth a Google?

Charleygirl5 Mon 24-Jul-23 09:49:02

I am self-sufficient normally but I stay at home as it is so much simpler. I cannot cope with steps into a hotel- my room must be on the ground or a decent lift to get there. It must have a decent-sized shower, preferably walk-in, with a seat. I am also partially sighted so it is so much easier to stay here.

teabagwoman Mon 24-Jul-23 10:40:28

Same here Charleygirl. Between reduced mobility, partial sight and partial hearing it just isn’t worth the stress.

Glorianny Mon 24-Jul-23 11:49:35

I took my mum on holidays when she was in a wheelchair, we travelled by plane and train, arranged assistance at airports and railway stations and booked accessible hotels. I also discovered there are a number of specialist companies who arrange holidays for the disabled This is one
Perhaps give up the car holidays and use them?

Lathyrus Mon 24-Jul-23 12:06:46

I know lots of people will post Oh no but if you want a break with a disabled partner or parent, cruises with a good company can work very well.

The staff ratio is amazing and they will do all the ferrying of the wheelchair from cabin to activity to dining room. Getting you on board and off, dealing with luggage, whatever you need really.

And you don’t have to cook! Ever.😃

Daisymae Mon 24-Jul-23 17:38:53

Thanks for the replies. We did have a few years cruising and it did work well when my husband had some mobility. He's too unwell to consider going abroad nowadays. I will check out the suggestions here, but I am moving towards calling it a day. I think that one of the issues now is that I'm no spring chicken either. Thanks again

foxie48 Mon 24-Jul-23 17:51:04

My SIL managed many holidays with BIL who was severely disabled following a catastrophic stroke but there came a time when it became too difficult. However, she needed a holiday so she organised respite care so she could have a relaxing holiday with her daughter or a friend. She absolutely deserved a break, came back refreshed and happy and continued caring for her husband until such time that he needed more care than she was able to give. Could you do the same in the future?

MerylStreep Mon 24-Jul-23 17:53:23

I would have used Uber Eats or Deliveroo. At least you wouldn’t have had to cook.

MadeInYorkshire Mon 24-Jul-23 18:05:07

Yes me.

My last holiday was 13 years ago and only once since, for one night only, have I been away, and although I enjoyed it, it was exhausting!

To start with I cannot walk any distance at all, without severe pain and nausea. Once the nausea starts, I literally have to sit down for several hours before I can even eat. My issues restrict what I can and can't eat anyway.

I haven't slept in a bed for around 13 years - the one night I went away I tried, but was awake most of the night because it was so uncomfortable! I also have great difficulty in getting in and out of a bed, and although there was a lovely big shower there, as I can't manage myself to get washed and fully dressed, so had to have one the day before, and just changed my clothes - no choice! So paying for something I can't actually use, and can't afford anyway, isn't really something I want to do again! The following year I got my carer to drive me there direct and hired a scooter to get round Cheltenham Racecourse (The Covid 'superspreader event'), and it was much better - fortunately I can get free tickets to The Gold Cup, and it really is my only day out in a year!

Hevs Tue 25-Jul-23 12:18:46

Dear DaisyMae, I take my hat off to you. I am not in your position although I have a 90-year-old father with Alzheimer's and limited mobility. I think the fact you have managed all this yourself is astounding. I also imagine it is exhausting. I get tired after a day with my dad and I am 64 but sense you may be older. I hope you can find some short term help for your husband and you will let yourself put your feet up on your own holiday and have a real break soon.

LovesBach Tue 25-Jul-23 12:28:50

DaisyMae you have coped so well for so long - you must both have some good memories of holidays, and if you do feel it is 'time to call time', then surely, no regrets. I hope you can still enjoy days out, perhaps, following some of the good suggestions here.

MamaB247 Tue 25-Jul-23 12:31:14

Coming more form your DH's point of view I'm also in a wheelchair. However I do do the cooking. My DH does all the landing up and lifting and our 10 year old helps unpack and other jobs. The best thing we did was apply for PIP and get a Monarch Easy Fold electric wheelchair. Thankfully my DH also gets pip and he gets the car which we have had adapted with a hoist to lift wheelchair as his sciatica means it's still too heavy. Our 10 year old can lift it but it's much easier with he hoist. It means he they don't have to push me and this one ah does gravel fairly well. I just could not go back to a manual it also causes so much pain in a manual as it jolts me about too much and the sitting area is lower meaning my hip is at the worng angle. I don't know your position but perhaps a small compact electric scooter or wheelchair would be easier at least on the pushing. My dog rides on my knee she is tiny and we have a pram parasol attached to shade her form the sun.

Sawsage2 Tue 25-Jul-23 12:49:29

I can't walk and use a lightweight (aluminium) mobility scooter, my partner can get it in/out of car easily. We've just been to Premier inn, Cleethorpes as I can drive my scooter straight from car park into room, amazing! I believe other Premier Inns are the same. We're going Buxton Premier next week, checked and they are the same. Wouldn't stay anywhere else now.

Daddima Tue 25-Jul-23 12:51:18

How does your husband feel about holidays? Does he perhaps think he has to go along with it for your sake? He may feel you benefit from a ‘ change of scene’.
I was thinking that perhaps I should call it a day regarding travel, but have realised that it’s pointless to think of what I would like to do, or what I used to do, so I should just enjoy doing what I can, like going to a hotel I know and enjoying the food and sunshine, with a taxi trip out if I feel up to it.
Could you perhaps do a day or two to a nice hotel where you would be looked after? You can also get assisted travel on the train. I’ve just done that and it was a great help. I think you can get ideas for hotels online, then call them and ask questions. Trip advisor can also help with any questions you might have.
Even a dinner, bed and breakfast could be an idea at first.
I would suggest you talk it over with your husband, and find out what he would like to do.

Foxygloves Tue 25-Jul-23 13:06:47

I wonder if you need to look at a different sort of holiday.
My mother was in a wheelchair latterly and loved staying at hotels like Peebles Hydro, or the Marine at North Berwick where they have accessible rooms, a verandah to sit out on (equally accessible) lovely gardens and excellent food.
Dad only had to wheel her very short distances and once she was comfortable he was free to go for walks or do whatever he wanted.

red1 Tue 25-Jul-23 13:09:29

holidays are something you look forward to,when you don't then what is the point?

Bijou Tue 25-Jul-23 13:27:55

I have had walking difficulties since I was 75. Using a walker. But managed to get away both home and abroad until I was 82 and and gave up because I had to ask people to help me up and down steps.. I always travelled alone but found airports and National Express has excellent facilities for disabled people.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 25-Jul-23 13:28:14

DaiseyMae, it sounds to me as if you have reached the point where giving it up would be the right thing for you.

How does your husband feel about it?

If he too honestly prefers being at home, sleeping in his own bed etc. then yes, the time has come to give it up.

Perhaps if you don't have the strain and stress of a holiday away from home, you and he can go out for a day occasionally.

If on the other hand, he still wants to go away, for a change or for your sake, the matter is more complicated.

In either case I think you need to tell him honestly that it is getting too much for you, and see what you and he can work out together.

Right now, DH is talking gleefully of a holiday in Budapest or Prague next year, but unless he is far fitter and stronger then than he is now (unlikely) I don't see it happening, but am biding my time not wanting to put a wet blanket on his dreams. So I sympathise with you both.

AshleysGran Tue 25-Jul-23 13:30:36

Maybe you could try reminiscences instead? Do you have any physical reminders of previous holidays - photos, souvenirs? How about digging up some memories: "do you remember the time we went to..." etc and reliving some episodes?

Rhinestone Tue 25-Jul-23 13:43:34

My friend had a husband with Alzheimer’s . She used to hire a caregiver to go on holiday with them . It was well worth the money.

Ladyfungi59a Tue 25-Jul-23 14:09:44

I too have walking difficulties and agree with Foxygloves comments and could recommend a stay at a Warners Leisure Hotel - bed, breakfast and evening meal.

I use a mobility scooter as do quite a few other guests and the grounds are lovely and suitable for wheelchairs. They organise activities that take place outside and inside the hotel, so never a dull moment but it can be as peaceful and as quiet as you like. I use a mobility scooter for transporting in a car boot and book a first floor room with a wet room and patio.

Oh dear I sound like an advert for Warners! but I really do hope you can give them a try. I've just returned from a holiday with them and have been a few times before . All the staff are very helpful and there is assistance when you arrive with your luggage so you do not have to struggle taking it from your car to your room.

However I do agree that if you feel it is time to call it a day then you must go with your thoughts, but that would be a shame. Having a holiday should not be exhausting work, we all could do with a break from the usual routines no matter how long it might be.

Kugala Tue 25-Jul-23 14:13:21

@Daisymae is your husband too disabled to use a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair? If not, it could be an absolute game changer for you.

Hellogirl1 Tue 25-Jul-23 15:02:19

My daughter is very disabled, won`t leave the house at all now. She can`t walk, or stand, at all, and can`t feed herself, apart from with finger food, also can`t wash or dress herself. I`ve thought for a while now that holidays are out of the question, can`t afford to take a carer along as well, she has 2 carers 4 times a day, plus 2 during the night. I`m 80, and not very able myself.